Discipleship Training: ‘Not Just Theory, but Very Practical’
*Representative photo used to protect identity. Teacher Hafez* is a real story teller. He walks to and fro through the room that is used as classroom. His class of Farsi-speaking students is working with the fourth book of the discipleship training DOTA offered by Open Doors. A class of eight school children joyfully recites the Bible verse that they have memorized in this lesson, Mark 10:43, speaking about being a servant. “Jesus came to serve”, the teacher explains, “It is so sad that you see a lot of leaders that want to be served.” These children are members of the underground house churches. The training of these Farsi-speaking children and their families is being held at a safe location. They can speak freely about their Lord and Savior. Some of the students have a paper Bible with them, others read the Bible verses on their cell phone or tablet. DOTA (Discipleship On The Air) started many years ago as a discipleship program transmitted via radio to China. The program was a success, and was translated to other languages, like Farsi. Nowadays, Open Doors not only brings the program via ‘the air’, but also offers the training face to face to many members of the underground church in the Persian Speaking World. 28-year-old Azadeh is one of the students. She says she loves the very practical lessons. “The teachers share about their own life, about real situations. For me, it enlightens me, I understand more of the Bible and see how it gives practical solutions for daily life.” Salman, who is four years older, adds: “It is not only theory but very practical.” Besides discipling the Christians, one of the objectives of the course is ‘training trainers’. And some of the students from this particular class are already stepping up to lead. In her house church, Azadeh is discipling some other women. “I am going to teach them the DOTA material.” Salman is starting meetings with students. Babak (44) is the leader of a house group. Mitza (29) will also have her own discipleship group after she has been trained in the first four books of DOTA. Ways We Can Pray For Discipleship in the Middle East:
- Pray for the young generation of Christians
- Pray for more strength and courage to share the gospel
- Pray for the participants who are discipling other Christians.
*For security reasons, all names have been changed.